Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

The use of standardised short-term and working memory tests in aphasia research: a systematic review

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christos Salis



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Impairments of short-term and working memory (STM, WM), both verbal and nonverbal, are ubiquitous in aphasia. Increasing interest in assessing STM and WM in aphasia research and clinical practice as well as a growing evidence base of STM/WM treatments for aphasia warrant an understanding of the range of standardised STM/WM measures that have been utilised in aphasia. To date, however, no previous systematic review has focused on aphasia. Accordingly, the goals of this systematic review were: (1) to identify standardised tests of STM and WM utilised in the aphasia literature, (2) to evaluate critically the psychometric strength of these tests, and (3) to appraise critically the quality of the investigations utilising these tests. Results revealed that a very limited number of standardised tests, in the verbal and non-verbal domains, had robust psychometric properties. Standardisation samples to elicit normative data were often small, and most measures exhibited poor validity and reliability properties. Studies using these tests inconsistently documented demographic and aphasia variables essential to interpreting STM/WM test outcomes. In light of these findings, recommendations are provided to foster, in the future, consistency across aphasia studies and confidence in STM/WM tests as assessment and treatment outcome measures.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Murray L, Salis C, Martin N, Dralle J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: An International Journal

Year: 2018

Volume: 28

Issue: 3

Pages: 309-351

Online publication date: 04/05/2016

Acceptance date: 29/03/2016

Date deposited: 08/08/2016

ISSN (print): 0960-2011

ISSN (electronic): 1464-0694

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/09602011.2016.1174718


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric